[whatwg] The issue of interoperability of the <video> element
Charles Iliya Krempeaux
supercanadian at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 09:12:23 PDT 2007
>From a technical point-of-view, you make a very good argument.
However, I think it is inappropriate for the HTML spec to (directly or
indirectly) mandate people pay to implement it.
As you point out, H.263 is encumbered by patents and has licensing
costs associates with it. Costs that me, you, tool creators, and users
will have to pay, either directly or in-directly
This just makes things more expensive for everyone since we are
essentially being "taxed". And it's ridiculous to just accept this tax
when there's no reason we have to.
Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc. <http://ChangeLog.ca/>
All the Vlogging News on One Page
On 6/26/07, Jerason Banes <jbanes at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I believe an aim of whatwg is a viable implementable standard that
> > reflects the realities of the web while encouraging innovation. MPEG4
> > is part of the web (a growing part too).
> If I may, I'd like to echo Timeless's point here. I've been watching this
> thread with great interest and believe I understand both sides of the issue.
> Theora is appealing because it provides a Free as in no-cost to implement
> and Free as in no-encumbrances solution. However, it also provides a
> solution that nobody uses today. Perhaps even worse, there doesn't seem to
> be a lot of interest in adopting Theora in the future.
> And can you blame web users? Theora provides a solution that's high
> bandwidth and low quality. A very unappealing prospect for the
> bandwidth-constrained environment of the web.Thus more competitive solutions
> like MPEG4, WMV, RealPlayer, and Quicktime have been dominating the web. The
> most popular form of video streaming at the moment is actually the H.263
> codec through Flash; a non-free codec which is running on a platform that
> can only roughly be considered a "standard".
> If and when the Dirac codec is completed, there will be a viable alternative
> to the non-free video codec problem that might justify the risk/reward
> equation for support. Until then, however, we're going to need to look at
> supporting the existing infrastructure. That infrastructure is based on the
> following options:
> Windows Media Video
> RealVideo 30/40
> Quicktime SorensonOut of those solutions, VP6, WMV, Sorenson, and RealVideo
> can immediately be discarded for their lack of standardization. That leaves
> H.263 and MPEG4 as the only viable options.
> H.263 is not a bad choice, IMHO. It's well supported by nearly every major
> video player, has a variety of library implementations available, is in
> widespread usage, and has a good tradeoff between bandwidth and quality. It
> is also a standard under the ITU-T.
> But what about MPEG4? Specifying MPEG4 has a lot of appeal for both its
> excellent encoding performance and its single point to obtain licensing and
> indemnity from. Furthermore, MPEG4 has its own container format and
> low-bandwidth audio encoding scheme. (AAC is a sight better than having to
> dictate ADPMC sound.) MPEG4 is also widely supported by media players,
> though not quite as well as H.263. The MPEG Group also offers low-cost (i.e.
> "free") licensing to anyone shipping less than 50,000 units a year, which
> means that it would be feasible for upstart browsers to support the
> That being said, I think I prefer the H.263 standard as a video baseline for
> a few reasons:
> It presents several licensing options. The implementer can chose to get
> indemnity via an available license like MPEG4-Simple (which will play
> H.263), choose to try and deal with individual patent holders, or simply
> attempt to ignore the issue. (The last case is particularly appealing in
> countries that don't recognize the patents related to streaming video
> It's amazingly well supported both in hardware and software. Future mobile
> devices should have no trouble adding support for H.263.
> It's already the most popular codec on the web today. While Real has
> "retired" their H.263-based codecs, it still lives on in Adobe FLV files.
> Java decoders are available for creating "shunts" for browsers that don't
> currently support the "<video>" tag.
> That leaves me with two (point 5) questions:
> Would this place too much of a burden on browsers like Mozilla and Opera?
> Could plugins to local OS codecs or media players slide around the licensing
> Is there a good choice for container format that wouldn't additionally
> burden the implementors? Thanks,
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